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Getting to the Screen

Mark Kermode examines how films get financed and distributed. The challenge, of course, is that nobody knows the ultimate appeal of the film.

Close to 700 movies opened in the UK last year. Blockbusters, franchises, documentaries, debuts, experiments, low-budget indies and beyond. It's never been easier to make a film and it's said there is an audience for everything. But what is the likely size of that audience? In the second part of this series, film critic Mark Kermode talks to the film financiers and the distributors.

According to the head of Film Four, David Kosse, the film industry is a "break-even business" - the trick is to identify a winner and ensure it's not just a one off. The independent film world - most of the British film industry - spreads the risk of making a film across independent distributors, equity financiers and other tax benefits. We hear from the BFI, Film Four and BBC Films on what films they are looking to finance.

Since the early days of film, rich outsiders have financed the industry. Now, producers who don't fit the studio model are looking to a multitude of ways to finance their film - from crowdfunding to rich kids with cheque books. Director Shane Carruth tells how he distributed his film Upstream Color himself, road-showing cinema screenings and bringing the film out on Blu-ray. And with much talk of Video on Demand, what role will Netflix and Amazon play in the future of film?

Marketing is crucial to the life and death of a movie but it remains the one hard cost in moviemaking. The trailer can be of vital importance and we hear what we respond to and what scenes should be left out.

Producers: Barney Rowntree and Nick Jones
A Hidden Flack production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Wed 12 Aug 2015 16:00


  • Sun 1 Mar 2015 13:30
  • Wed 12 Aug 2015 16:00

Kermode and Mayo's Film Review

Kermode and Mayo's Film Review

Mark Kermode joins Simon Mayo to give his verdict on the week's movies.